There are people whose idea of ââa wonderful vacation is to lie on the beach with a good book in hand, and let the hours go by. Then there are those whose dream escape is to tie up a backpack, put on their hiking boots, and climb mountains.
But vacations aren’t just a great way to spend time. Psychologist Jocelyn Brewer says they’re loaded with other benefits as well. She says we’re more likely to spend time in nature when we’re on vacation, which can help us fill the ‘relax and reset’ mindset we need, while also improving our mood. .
If you are looking for adventure, stepping out of your comfort zone can also help you develop new ways of approaching life. It sounds clichÃ©, but Brewer says vacations where you dip your toes into a new culture or experience can be “transformative” because it exposes us to alternate perspectives. “It can help us create new mind maps of how we think about our lives, our state of mind and our ability to solve problems.”
But spending your trip doing nothing is also therapeutic. Brewer says that as a society we don’t value rest. And yet, it is an essential pillar of well-being. âIt’s not just how busy we are, but the amount of information we consume that leads to mental fog,â she explains.
Shortening our days and reducing our consumption of social media and the like is therefore a welcome respite for our overworked minds.
Leadership coach Dr. Kate Cashman agrees that the holidays are teeming with health benefits. As a rest and renewal coach, she stresses the importance of ensuring that the boundaries between life and work are respected. âEven though we love our job, it’s still very important to prioritize free time,â she says.
But the holidays are also good for our hearts. A nine-year study published in Psychosomatic Medicine followed more than 12,000 middle-aged men at high risk for heart disease. He found that those who took annual breaks were less likely to die from any cause, including heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems.
And you don’t even have to leave the house to experience the mental health benefits of a break. A new survey from Omnipoll, on behalf of Norwegian Cruise Line, found that just planning a trip is uplifting, with 94% of respondents saying the excitement and feelings of emotional well-being started at the time where they began to dream of their getaway.